National companies in the field of Industrial Biotechnology

AB Enzymes GmbH is one of the oldest and best-known enzyme manufacturers. The product portfolio ranges from enzymes for drinks and pastries to feed enzymes to enzymes for the textile industry. Another emphasis is biofuel production, where the company focuses on the utilization of lignocellulosic biomass.

AMSilk GmbH, based in Martinsried near Munich and IBB network member, offers a process to produce biopolymers (spider silk proteins) on an industrial scale. The technology, developed at the Technical University of Munich can be customized to specific customer needs.

BASF SE is with a biobased production of about 1,000 tons per year one of the world's leading producers of vitamin B2 (= riboflavin, data from 2008). In 2007, BASF achieved a turnover of approximately 300 million euros with products that are wholly or partially produced by biotechnological methods. Moreover, the company started in 2006 the R&D initiative "Growth Cluster Industrial Biotechnology" with an investment of 160 million euros.

BASF aims together with Purac, subsidiary of CSM (see international users), for becoming a leading provider of bio-based succinic acid. Gerard Hoetmer, CEO of CSM, explained in the joint press release of 1 August 2011: "[...] We intend [...] to become the first industrial supplier of succinic acid with a 25,000 tons fermentation plant. The plant should be put into operation by 2013. "

BRAIN AG develops innovative products and solutions based on in nature existing, but so far untapped biological solutions. BRAIN AG determines the active product components in the company's "BioArchives", which is one of the largest archives of its kind.

c-LEcta GmbH is like AB Enzymes or BRAIN a German biotechnology company specialized on the development of tailor-made enzymes and strains for industrial applications. The company's technologies enable efficient development of strains for proteins and low molecular weight products.

Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH (formerly Sud-Chemie AG), also a member of the IBB network operates since 2009 a pilot plant for production of second generation bioethanol from lignocellulosic (agricultural) waste materials in Munich. A demonstration plant with a capacity of 1,000 tons of ethanol per year was launched in May 2012 in Straubing.

Carl Bechem GmbH comes from Hagen and has developed a water-based cooling lubricant as an alternative to mineral oil-based cooling lubricants together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Production Technology (IWF) and the University of Braunschweig. This was made possible by the addition of biopolymers.

evocatal GmbH from Dusseldorf, also a member of the IBB network, cooperates with the specialty chemicals group Lanxess (see "L") in the search for methods to use renewable raw materials for rubber production. Since September 2011, these companies work together in a consortium for the research project "ThRuBio" (Thermoplastics and Rubber via Biotechnological Synthesis). Also involved are: Evonik Industries AG, Essen and the Technical University of Munich.

Currently, Evonik Industries AG plans to build a plant for the production of catalysts for biodiesel production in Argentina. No later than the end of 2012 the plant shall provide ready-to-use alkoxides as catalysts for the production of biodiesel from renewable resources. Since early 2012, Evonik has also begun extensive measures to increase capacity in the bio-polyamide-production at the Shanghai site and wants to launch an additional compounding facility in the 3rd Quarter of 2012. One of the first initiatives of Evonik for industrial biotechnology was the "Science-to-Business Center Biotechnology" (total investment: 50 million euros) and was already opened in Marl in 2007.

Hoechst AG (now Sanofi-Aventis SA) changed in the mid-1990s its chemical production of 7-aminocephalosporanic to the more efficient biotechnological production.


Lanxess Deutschland GmbH invested 10 million U.S. dollars in the U.S. biofuel and biochemical manufacturer Gevo to produce in cooperation isobutene for butyl rubber from renewable resources. In addition, Lanxess also participated in BioAmber (see international users) with 10 million U.S. dollars to produce phthalate-free plasticizers from bio-based succinic acid. Moreover, since November 2011 Lanxess is producing the world's first EPDM rubber from bio-based ethylene. The Brazilian company Braskem (international users) is therefore providing the raw material ethylene from sugar cane.

The Lufthansa AG and INOCAS GmbH, a company based in Lueneburg and specialized in vegetable oils, intend to develop application-oriented concepts for competitive and CO2-neutral production of biofuels. Lufthansa pursues the use of bio-kerosene as a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions.


Metabolix, Inc.
is a life sciences company focused on developing clean, sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy. In April 2012, the company opened its first European office in Cologne.


Novo-Tech GmbH & Co. KG
from Aschersleben is the European market leader in wood-polymer materials, also known as wood-plastic-composites (WPC). The biomaterial has better properties than conventional plastics. Terrace systems have evolved to an ecological alternative to tropical timber. According to the nova-institute 220.000 tons WPC were produced and processed in Europe in 2010, half of them in Germany.


Phytowelt Green Technologies GmbH
in Nettetal near Krefeld is coordinating a new project, in which the vegetable P450 enzymes are used in industrial production. As a result, the project participants hope to replace the use of (petro)chemical compounds, for example in the production of drugs, flavors, odorants or gustatory substances and also in the fabrication of plastics.


Südzucker AG
operates in the segment CropEnergies one of the largest "first generation" bioethanol plants in Europe (Saxony-Anhalt), with an annual capacity of 360,000 square meters of bioethanol.


The company Verbio AG processes straw into biogas. The plant opened in March 2012 in Zoerbig and shall in the future process 20 tons of straw per year. The company, founded in 2006, is producing next to biogas also bioethanol and biodiesel.


The largest Bavarian chemical company Wacker Chemie AG produces in the division "Wacker Biosolutions" amongst others cystine, cysteine and cyclodextrins with biotechnological methods. The division generated in 2010 a turnover of 142 million euros. Wacker also operates a plant for the conversion of ethanol to acetate by the proprietary Aceo® process. Wacker is based in the southeastern "Bavarian chemical triangle" with 25 companies, 25,000 employees and over 8 billion euros in annual sales.

To top